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It’s a bit quiet in here

So. Hi. Here we are again. Remember me?

It’s been a while, I admit. Somewhere back in the mists of time, I launched this new blog with the promise of more frequent posts and in the time since then, I’ve barely posted anything and it’s been over six months since the last thing I wrote. Oops.

In my defence, I’ve been busy. I moved to Paris last October to take up a postdoctoral position at l’Institut de Physique Théorique, part of CEA Paris-Saclay and since then I’ve had my work cut out trying to keep my head above the water. Between learning to live in the city of lights, learning both French (c’est très difficile d’habiter a Paris et de ne parler pas français) and Italian (lavoro con molti italiani) as well as trying to adapt to a new and fast-moving field of research quickly enough to make useful contributions to it…well, you can see why I haven’t had much spare energy left over for blogging.

I can’t promise for sure that’ll change, but now that I’ve finally started to find my feet a little, I’m going to try to make more time for writing. In particular, normal service will resume in the next few days with a post about my current research, and afterwards I may do a post on some interesting work that’s just about to come out of my old alma mater, but is still under wraps for the time being.

I’ve also recently resolved to start contributing to Wikipedia, so you might start seeing my contributions on Wiki pages far and wide, once I work up the nerve to start making changes and earn the right to start creating pages of my own. This came about after realising that a lot of modern condensed matter physics isn’t listed anywhere on Wikipedia, and that a lot of the current pages are really poorly written. Having spent nearly a decade learning physics, and now I’ve got both a Masters and a PhD in the field, I figure I’m as well-qualified as I’ll ever be to start giving a little back to a website that’s given me so much over the years.

I’ll be honest, I also have an ulterior motive for getting back to writing – the job market for postdocs is so competitive that I need to do anything I can to give me an edge, and while I’m pretty confident that my current research is the best thing I’ve ever done, academia is as much a game of luck as skill. At best, restarting the blog might help me build my reputation within the field a little bit, and at the very least it’ll hopefully stand as good evidence for my writing skills if I decide to go down a writing/editing route instead of a research career. (Though if I somehow manage to live the dream and become a rock guitarist and/or a sci-fi author, then the blog might not be so useful…)

So come with me, dear readers, as we dive back into the fray of modern research and life as a researcher and let’s see where this journey takes us. Next up, a post about a curious, relatively new and poorly-understood phase of matter that I’ve been working on for the last 8 months – stay tuned!

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